Friday, January 6, 2017

The Ghost of 1999 - Vampire Rock

I have mentioned this in passing six or seven years ago here on the blog and I figured it was about time to share more about it. By 'it' I mean the project that started my entire career in motion.

Back in the summer of 1999 a vampire movie was being filmed in Tallahassee, Fl. A film maker from LA had moved to Tallahassee to teach at the film school of Florida State University and fell in love with the area and wanted to make a film based in Tallahassee. I was a student at Florida State University at the time and a lot of the crew for the movie was being pulled from the film school and the local population. There were signs up in the art department looking for people with art backgrounds that were interested in working on the project. One of the positions they needed people for was in the makeup effect crew. I was giving the contact information for a person in LA that would be coming out to oversee and create all the effects. A phone call later I was lined up to be on the makeup effects crew and I was about to get a crash course in makeup effects, make up, painting, being on set, and a ton of other stuff. I even did some story boarding for some of the key scenes of the movie.

I spent most of the summer of 1999 working all night and sleeping during the day and in some cases working all day and all night. It was all a lot of fun and a lot of weird and crazy memories. I certainly learned a lot and it opened the door for me to later move to LA and work in the makeup effects industry making monsters for TV and film. This one project was the beginning of it all. Even though I do not do that work now, because of my involvement and being in LA to meet the people I met and learn all the things that I did it paved the way and allowed me to find my way to were it is now.

As I remember it, the movie had several working titles but eventually ended up with Vampire Rock. In the end Vampire Rock was never released but as far as I know, it was completed. I have never seen it and I have know idea how much of my involvement with the movie is even evident in the final product. In some additional pickup filming done in late 2000, I was helping out with additional makeup effect and had the chance to be onscreen. No idea if any of that was even used. There is a trailer for Vampire Rock over on YouTube if you are interested.

While working on Vampire Rock I painted a lot of things, applied lots of make ups, and drew many drawings. No idea where any of the art or photographs are now. If I come across them I will be sure to share them in the future. I am sure they are all horrible, but at the time they were amazing. I should make a point to see if I can dig any of this stuff up.

Fun fact, though it is now abandoned and most likely will one day be torn down, an old Coke warehouse was our base of operations for the entire filming. A LOT of the film was shot in the warehouse and it served as several sets. Our makeup studio was even set up in the building. We had our fair share of shooting at various locals away from the Coke warehouse, but a lot of memories center around this old building.

Though it has seen better days, this Coke warehouse was the heart of Vampire Rock filming

While digging up information and details about Vampire Rock I came across a blog post of a person that had actually seen the finished version of Vampire Rock. They seem really negative and extremely critical of the movie. Seems a little unfair since most people will never get a chance to see it and form an opinion for themselves. Like the majority of TV and movie projects, a lot of people worked long and hard on something they believed in and wanted to succeed. Hopefully one day I will get to see the finished movie and get to see how all our hard work paid off.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here next week! Until then...

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